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General: US Digital Sales & Microtransactions Add Up for Online Games

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,658MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

According to a new report at SuperDataResearch.com, microtransactions are a hugely lucrative enterprise topped by Crossfire Online that generated nearly a billion dollars in revenue last year. The top ten MMOs (MMOFPS/MMORPG/MOBA) brought in substantial amounts of money, including World of Warcraft that generated in $213 million in microtransactions alone in addition to its subscription revenue.

The US digital games market grew 11% in 2013, reaching $11,766 million in sales across all segments, up from $10,582 million a year earlier. With both Christmas and New Year’s taking place mid-week, the digital games sector benefitted across the board, allowing it to reach $1.2 billion in aggregate sales in December, up from $862 million last year (+36%).

Read more about the data breakdown at the link above.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    top 10 games not just mmos.
  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,658MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by DamonVile
    top 10 games not just mmos.

    Of course, the argument can be made, at least on a certain level, that most of these are MMOs in a very broad sense. ;)

    Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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  • HulluckHulluck lost in bfe, TNPosts: 605Member Uncommon

    Would be neat to see a item category breakdown. Like social items, weapons / enhancements for weapons gear, lottery type items (loot boxes / keys), mounts.  Just a good all around breakdown of item types.    Never even heard of Crossfire. Just looking at the site, it really made that much?. Yikes!

     

    Edit: I'm just floored by the Crossfire thing. Looking really quick at Youtube videos. It's beating World of Tanks by a massive amount! It looks kind of like Soldier of Fortune 2 or something. WOOOOOOOOW. Still amazed I've never heard of it. Anyone else not aware of that game?

  • GoldenArrowGoldenArrow TurkuPosts: 1,187Member Uncommon
    DFO $426 a game not worth running by Nexon NA/EU.
  • TheBigDRCTheBigDRC Everson, WAPosts: 162Member

    I think CrossFire managed to get those numbers thanks to being released in more countries than WoW. A lot of people going into the microtransaction store.

    You know what's fun about chaos? I do, but I won't tell.

  • cheyanecheyane Rome Posts: 3,003Member Uncommon

    SWTOR is in the list number 8 below WoW. People said game was dying and tanking rofl

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  • exile01exile01 arePosts: 244Member

    You know whats crazy about ? If all of them were MMOs:

    World of Warcraft: 213mil/12Months/15Dollar=1.183 Mil subscribers paying 15 Dollar per month
    League of Legends: 614Mil/12Month/15Dollar= 3.4Mil subscribers paying 15 Dollar per month
    Crossfire: 957Mil/12Month/15Dollar=5.3Mil subscribers paying 15 Dollar per month

    Star Wars 139Mil/12months/15Dollar=772k subsribers paying 15 Dollar per month

     

    Now it seems like P2P games are still the way to go riiiiiiiiight?

    GOOD LUCK ESO- SEE YOU in 6 MONTHS GOING F2P!

  • TheHavokTheHavok San Jose, CAPosts: 2,398Member Uncommon
    More examples of how lucrative and attractive micro transactions and item malls can be. While in the past F2P was only known for having low quality titles but that is now changing. 
  • exile01exile01 arePosts: 244Member
    Whats crazy about Lineage 1  is that it still generates 200Mil each year after so many years.
     
     
    Of course those numbers could be easly made up. And superdataresearch.com donest sound trustworthy at all. No serious Business here.
  • tom_goretom_gore TamperePosts: 1,796Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by exile01

    You know whats crazy about ? If all of them were MMOs:

    World of Warcraft: 213mil/12Months/15Dollar=1.183 Mil Subscribers paying 15 Dollar per Month
    League of Legends: 614Mil/12Month/15Dollar= 3.4Mil Subscribers paying 15 Dollar per Month
    Crossfire: 957Mil/12Month/15Dollar=5.3Mil Subscribers paying 15 Dollar per Month

     

    Now it seems like P2P games are still the way to go riiiiiiiiight?

    GOOD LUCK ESO- SEE YOU in 6 MONTHS GOING F2P!

    The WoW number was only their cash-shop earnings. The subs are on top of that (and I'd wager they're much higher).

  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by cheyane

    SWTOR is in the list number 8 below WoW. People said game was dying and tanking rofl

    Those phrases usually come from people who simply do not like (insert game name here).  They are not market analysts nor do they speak on behalf  of any group of players as much as they want to think they do.  That being said, I honestly didn't expect SWTOR to be in the top 10 with their type of f2p model.

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • cheyanecheyane Rome Posts: 3,003Member Uncommon

    I play SWTOR subbed. I can tell you the game has a lot of people playing and enjoying it. The story is what makes people love it . It may be a disappointment to some but it has a fan base.

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  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    I don't believe SWTOR. It's probably just PR... like when CoD Ghosts reported to have sold "x" amount of copies, yet failed to mention that those sales were to retail stores.

    SWTOR has tons and tons of "cash shop / subscription" cards at retailers.

  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONPosts: 2,499Member Uncommon

    What's interesting is that F2P active users actually dropped off by 10% between November and December, whereas subscriptions stayed stable, but F2P revenues still increased. This shows that there is a core audience funding these games. The so called "riff raff" will clear out and there will be ebbs and flows in active users, but overall spending seems to be healthy. 

     

    Also found it interesting that 21% of revenues for P2P MMOs come from micro-transactions. 

    Crazkanuk

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    Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
    Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
    Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
    ----------------

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    Wow is not an f2p game. Swtor is OK but has sub option. I hate league. World of tanks is fun, team fortress 2 is OK but still with the exception of wow and swtor, these games are not what I call high quality, maybe for free, but compared to games you actually pay for these games suck. Exception Wow and Swtor.
  • exile01exile01 arePosts: 244Member
    Originally posted by CrazKanuk

    What's interesting is that F2P active users actually dropped off by 10% between November and December, whereas subscriptions stayed stable, but F2P revenues still increased. This shows that there is a core audience funding these games. The so called "riff raff" will clear out and there will be ebbs and flows in active users, but overall spending seems to be healthy. 

     

    Also found it interesting that 21% of revenues for P2P MMOs come from micro-transactions. 

     

    November-December busy time for students. Exams etc.

  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,658MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by exile01
    Originally posted by CrazKanuk

    What's interesting is that F2P active users actually dropped off by 10% between November and December, whereas subscriptions stayed stable, but F2P revenues still increased. This shows that there is a core audience funding these games. The so called "riff raff" will clear out and there will be ebbs and flows in active users, but overall spending seems to be healthy. 

    Also found it interesting that 21% of revenues for P2P MMOs come from micro-transactions. 

     November-December busy time for students. Exams etc.

    Given that the average age of MMO players is ~27, it is not just students who curtail their gaming during November and December. It is worth noting that the drop off is also likely due to the holidays and the necessity of spending for gifts, spending time with family rather than in game, etc. 

    Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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  • ZieglerZiegler nashville, TNPosts: 159Member
    *chuckles* and I dont care for a single one of those games.
  • remsleepremsleep Vida MatanovicaPosts: 109Member
    Originally posted by Rockniss
    Wow is not an f2p game. Swtor is OK but has sub option. I hate league. World of tanks is fun, team fortress 2 is OK but still with the exception of wow and swtor, these games are not what I call high quality, maybe for free, but compared to games you actually pay for these games suck. Exception Wow and Swtor.

    Read the fine print on WoW - that is money it generated from online shop not subscriptions.

    F2P model can potentially have 1000s of items on sale - each one generating revenue.

    P2P only model has a single avenue of generating revenue.

    To me its pretty obvious which model I would go with if I was running an online game.

     

    The main reason why Wildstar and ESO are launching as P2P games is box sales+subs is the quickest way of recouping development costs initially. Once the player numbers start to drop off (normal for all games post launch) both will switch to F2P model.

     

  • Soki123Soki123 Kelowna, BCPosts: 1,484Member Uncommon
    If WoW had 5 mill players paying $15 a month it s $900,000,000 + the $213,000,000. I don t think WoW needs to go F2P for quite awhile. One could argue, that it s 6 mill paying 15 a month or 3 mill, but , you can see how WoW kills all of those.
  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    I don't see what was wrong with pay once play forever.
  • remsleepremsleep Vida MatanovicaPosts: 109Member
    Originally posted by Soki123
    If WoW had 5 mill players paying $15 a month it s $900,000,000 + the $213,000,000. I don t think WoW needs to go F2P for quite awhile. One could argue, that it s 6 mill paying 15 a month or 3 mill, but , you can see how WoW kills all of those.

    WoW has over 7.6mil subs as of several months ago (its been losing subs at a slow and steady pace).

    This is not the whole picture, as you are not looking at expenses - staff, hosting and general operational costs.

    WoW is hugely successful but also I think thay it has higher expenses than many other MMos.

    Also it WoW is the only one sub game with such numbers, its a big island in a F2P ocean.

    It will be F2P one day too.... it is inevitable.

  • aslan132aslan132 Tampa, FLPosts: 378Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by remsleep
    Originally posted by Soki123
    If WoW had 5 mill players paying $15 a month it s $900,000,000 + the $213,000,000. I don t think WoW needs to go F2P for quite awhile. One could argue, that it s 6 mill paying 15 a month or 3 mill, but , you can see how WoW kills all of those.

    WoW has over 7.6mil subs as of several months ago (its been losing subs at a slow and steady pace).

    This is not the whole picture, as you are not looking at expenses - staff, hosting and general operational costs.

    WoW is hugely successful but also I think thay it has higher expenses than many other MMos.

    Also it WoW is the only one sub game with such numbers, its a big island in a F2P ocean.

    It will be F2P one day too.... it is inevitable.

    I think its worth noting also, that not all WoW subbers pay $15 a month. Doesnt matter if its 3, 5 or 7 mil, you cant just multiply that by 15 and expect to get an estimate of revenue. I would wager if there were 7.6 mil subs that only about 20% of those actually pay $15 a month, the rest something considerably lower. 

  • DamonVileDamonVile Vancouver, BCPosts: 4,818Member
    Originally posted by Dauzqul

    I don't believe SWTOR. It's probably just PR... like when CoD Ghosts reported to have sold "x" amount of copies, yet failed to mention that those sales were to retail stores.

    SWTOR has tons and tons of "cash shop / subscription" cards at retailers.

    That's one way to defend your belief ...I guess.

  • gunmanvladgunmanvlad BucharestPosts: 250Member Uncommon

    I'm shocked that Tencent volunteered ANY data to be honest, I'd much rather suggest that their numbers are something different entirely. Which kind of makes me skeptical to how accurate the numbers are. And not seeing GW2 (or DOTA2/TSW/Rift/LOTRO even) up there is a big question mark as to how much data the gathered. Telling me that more people play Lineage 1 rather than all these new(er) games and volunteer a lot of money for it makes absolute 0 sense.

     

    No other gaming market share number backs this up even slightly, including Asian and Western numbers.

     

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